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Dancing Lights
Topic: Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields
Grade Level: K-4
Body: Sun, Earth
Mission: Earth Science (Earth)

Short Description: Although children this age aren't prepared to learn about Earth's magnetosphere, they may be interested in the Northern Lights, which are caused by our magnetic field. Students explore the aurora through art and writing.


Desert RATS Teacher Site Selection
Topic: Far Ranging Robots
Grade Level: 5-8, 9-12
Body: Our Solar System

Short Description: Students research and present an exploration mission timeline proposal that utilizes the scientific process to meet science objectives and mission parameters for the field site. The goal is for students to create a 3-day mission timeline of activities for exploration.


Design Challenge: How do you keep things from getting too hot?
Topic: Far Ranging Robots
Grade Level: K-4, 5-8, 9-12
Body: Sun, Mercury
Mission: MESSENGER (Mercury)

Short Description: Part of the "Staying Cool" education unit which investigates how MESSENGER can study Mercury without being damaged by the harsh high-temperature, high-radiation environment; in this activity, students design, build and test a model of MESSENGER and a sunshade.


Detecting Planet Transits
Topic: Discovering New Worlds
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Beyond Our Solar System
Mission: Astrophysics (Beyond Our Solar System)

Short Description: Students model NASA's Kepler mission observations of planetary transits (a planet moving in front of a star) by standing in a circle with model star (light bulb) in the center, and observing, through rolled up paper viewing tubes, a "bead" planet orbiting the star.


Differentiation Demonstration: Moon
Topic: Evolving Worlds: Planets, Like People, Grow and Change Over Time
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Earth, Earth's Moon
Mission: Earth Science (Earth), LADEE (Earth's Moon), Lunar Recon Orbiter (Earth's Moon)

Short Description: Students observe a model of planetary differentiation, the organization of planetary interiors into layers of different densities. Materials of different densities are mixed in a bottle and allowed to separate into layers. The simple model illustrates how the Moon's interior became organized into a distinct core, mantle and outer crust from the debris of the Giant Impact.


Dirty Ice or Icy Dirt
Topic: Ice in the Solar System
Grade Level: 5-8, 9-12
Body: Mars
Mission: Phoenix (Mars)

Short Description: Large amounts of water ice appear to be buried at high latitudes on Mars. In this activity, students make physical models using Earth samples to investigate whether it is more likely that these regions of Mars are composed of icy dirt (with ice filling the pore space of soils) or dirty ice (with dust sprinkled through a mostly icy surface).


Discover Earth: Hands-on Activities
Topic: Windy Worlds: Gas Giants, Atmospheres and Weather
Grade Level: K-4
Body: Earth
Mission: Earth Science (Earth)

Short Description: This module to support hands-on Earth science explorations includes several activities for this age, including Weather Wall, Weather: the Many Faces of Mother Nature and Weather Stations. Educators are invited to download the activities, supporting reading games and facilitator resources.


Discoveries in Planetary Science Slide Sets
Topic: Discovering New Worlds
Body: Beyond Our Solar System
Mission: Astrophysics (Beyond Our Solar System)

Short Description: These four-slide powerpoints by the Division of Planetary Science include basic information for college-level introductory courses. Many of them are on the topic of recently discovered exoplanets.


Discoveries in Planetary Science Slide Sets
Topic: Our Evolving Understanding of Our Solar System
Grade Level: 9-12
Body: Our Solar System

Short Description: These slide presentations for use in undergraduate classes cover new discoveries in planetary science. They are available in Spanish and English.


Discovering Earth-like Worlds by their Color
Topic: Discovering New Worlds, Space Math
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Beyond Our Solar System
Mission: Astrophysics (Beyond Our Solar System), Hubble (Beyond Our Solar System), Webb Space Telescope (Our Solar System)

Short Description: Students use recent measurements of the reflected light from solar system bodies to graph their colors and to use this in classifying new planets as Earth-like, moon-like or Jupiter-like.

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Last Updated: 21 Oct 2011